Youth Mission Trip - 2011 - Queens, NY

 

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Youth Mission Trip - 2011 - Queens, NY

 

Mission Trip Queens 2011 17 youth and 4 adults drove 25 hours in vans out to Jamaica, Queens. 
We were in the most diverse community in the United States…143 nationalities in Jamaica, Queens. 
At the Youthworks site in Queens, the youth served by visiting seniors at assisted living centers and cleaning up parks. 
They worked side-by-side with 50 other Senior High youth from all around United States.
   


Video of Our Queens, New York Mission Trip

After our time in Queens, we went to the ocean and swam…it was awesome!  Many of the youth had never seen the ocean.  It was funny to hear how many of them said “oh, it tastes salty!”

Then, we made our way into Manhattan.  We stayed at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in the heart of Midtown…2 blocks from Times Square.  Here’s a “Thank You” letter I received from St. Lukes…

Dear Pastor Hans and the Youth Group of Trinity Lutheran Church,
We are so grateful for your help at the soup kitchen on June 23rd and for helping collect and sort clothes for our clothing bank.  We hope you enjoyed your stay at St. Lukes and in New York.  It was a pleasure to host such a spirited and mature group!  We wish the best for you and your members at Trinity.  Come visit us again soon! 
Warmly, Pastor Paul Schmiege, Suzanne Campise, and Scott Layman.


The group saw/did a lot in New York…Ground Zero, Staten Island Ferry, were in all 5 boroughs, Chinatown, Little Italy, rode subways, Central Park, Time’s Square, two Broadway shows… some saw Mary Poppins and others saw Billy Elliot, saw people from all walks of life, almost saw Justin Beeber, Rockafeller Center, the list goes on and on.

On the way to and from New York, we stayed at Trinity Lutheran Church in Girard, Ohio.  The pastor was very hospitable and waited up for us past midnight with Pizza both times!

The last evening in Girard, our group had holy communion and had time to process the trip.  I asked them “In one word, how would you describe the experience?”  The following e-mail  sums up the powerful experience the youth had.

Dear Queens Group,

I hope you ALL got an incredible night's sleep last night as I did!!!  Whew, my bed never felt so good!

I was very moved by all of your words and explanations of how the trip felt to you and asked you to write them down.  I have now typed them up and you can all review and reflect as you wish.  (if after you read them you have more to add, or Troy and Pr Hans you could send me yours, I'd be happy to add to the list!!  Your willingness to share these Saturday night was very moving and made me PROUD of you!)

Dalton:  BONDING:  everyone became closer to each other and got to know everyone really well.
                 AGAIN:  everyone would do it again, anytime!

Aspen:  THANKFULNESS:  that all of the leaders were very nice along with the churches we stayed in.
 
               IDEAS:  ideas got big on to leave or stay many times.
 
              DECISIONS:  all the decisions we made during the trip were huge.

Chad:   POSITIVITY:  staying positive through tough times
Nick:     GENEROSITY:  all the group leaders for driving and taking us shopping countless times.
Jake:    THANKFULNESS:  thankful for Trinity leaders letting me join them
Luke:     ELE:  everybody love everybody.  we were understanding and loved each other like a family.
Isaac:    DIVERSITY:  Brainerd doesn't have much diversity and the NY trip opened our eyes to how diverse the world is.
Becky:   FAMILY:  because we have created a family together.  The closeness, sticking together, standing up for on another, sharing our lives together :)
Bethany:  COURAGE: We needed a lot of courage to come to New York and help the people in need.
Grace:   CHANGE:  time and time again our plans would change from their original state.  Everyone had to be willing to accept these changes with a positive attitude and faith that everything would turn out alright.
Laura:  FAITH:  was needed everywhere on our journey, faith that every thing was going to be OK, and that it would be for the best.
Serena:  THANKFULNESS:  we need to be thankful for what we have because others don't have as much as we do.
Sara:  FLEXIBILITY:  everyone had to be flexible because of the changes of plans.  Flexibility is being OK with whatever happens, not complaining and just going with the flow.
Fallon:  EXCITEMENT:  excited to help people and have fun!
Taylor:  HOPE:  we had to have hope because we didn't know what was going to happen once we left Youthworks, we had to hope it would work out.
Jenna:  HELPFULNESS:  everybody in the group was very helpful and we had to be helpful to others too.
Paige:  PATIENCE:  we had to be patient with each other and changes and learn to deal with everyone's own problems and become a family.
Laurie:  PROUD:  I was very proud of your behavior the WHOLE time.  Sure we got of each other's nerves sometimes, but when we spend that much time together it is inevitable.  I was very proud to see someone give their seat to a lady on the subway.  I was proud to see sharing of money, food, belongings along the way.  I was proud to see you working hard on the projects we were given.  I was proud to see people accepting other's ideas-it was hard to get everyone's wishes met, but hopefully everyone got to do something they really wanted to.  I was proud of the fact we could travel as a big group for that long and came out smiling!! I was proud of you praying on your own, in a group and in front of the whole group when asked!!!  I was proud to be your leader and to get to know each and everyone one of you a whole lot better!

Now, some housekeeping.....I have a blue floatie,  a black pair of flip flops, and a flashlight of some ones.  Any one else come home with miscellaneous items that don't belong the them?!? 
Thanks to Paige, Chad and Sara for paying for the Billy Eliot tickets already, Jed, and Taylor, they were $69.
Thank you for letting me be your leader and joining you on this trip.  Jesus loves you and so do I!!!
In Christ's Love, Laurie

   


In closing, I want to thank Laurie Boran, Troy Schreifels, and Becky Dryburgh for their awesome, positive leadership on the trip.  I also want to thank our 17 young people, for their energy, excitement, patience, and faith.  Lastly, a huge thank you to Trinity Lutheran in Brainerd!  We could not have done it without your support! 

By the way, responding to the email…my word for the trip was HOSPITALITY.  From The pastor in Girard who stayed up until midnight on two Saturdays with hot pizza, to the amazingly hospitable staff at St. Lukes, to the Jamaican mechanic who fixed white-lightning for a steal of a deal, and to the loving people of Jamaica…  We were in Good hands…God’s Hands. 

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Pastor Hans